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Series Preview: Twins at A's

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The Twins try to keep the ball rolling in Oakland.

Old enemy (but I like him) Billy Butler.
Old enemy (but I like him) Billy Butler.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Can the Twins bring their win streak to 5 games? They head to Oakland to find out. Here's what those Athletics have been up to:

After starting the season 10-7 the A's have gone 12-17, falling to 22-29 and tied for last place in the AL West with the Astros. They have lost 6 of 9, but are coming off a series win against the Tigers this weekend.

Some of Oakland's struggles this year are offense related. Yonder Alonso (1B), Billy Butler (DH) and Stephen Vogt (C) are all under performing at the plate. Former Twin Danny Valencia is one of their only leaders on offense and is hitting .311/.341/.521. Josh Reddick, another leader on offense, is currently on the 15-day DL and missed his bobblehead day.

More worrying for Oakland, though, is their starting pitching:

Rk Pos Name Age W L ERA GS IP ER HR BB SO FIP WHIP HR9 BB9 SO9
1 SP Rich Hill* 36 7 3 2.18 10 57.2 14 2 21 65 2.77 1.11 0.3 3.3 10.1
2 SP Sonny Gray (15-day dl) 26 3 5 6.19 9 48 33 8 24 41 5.13 1.646 1.5 4.5 7.7
3 SP Kendall Graveman 25 1 6 5.36 9 47 28 10 19 36 5.69 1.596 1.9 3.6 6.9
4 SP Sean Manaea* 24 1 3 7.03 6 32 25 5 10 21 4.86 1.563 1.4 2.8 5.9
5 SP Jesse Hahn 26 2 2 4.15 5 30.1 14 6 11 14 5.85 1.418 1.8 3.3 4.2
6 SP Chris Bassitt (60-day dl) 27 0 2 6.11 5 28 19 5 14 23 5.29 1.75 1.6 4.5 7.4
Team Totals 28.7 21 29 4.82 50 440.2 236 64 161 372 4.54 1.418 1.3 3.3 7.6

Provided by Baseball-reference.

With that out of the way, let's look at the match-ups.

Rival SBNation site: Athletics Nation

Game 1

Monday, 3:05 PM CDT

Ervin Santana vs Kendall Graveman

Graveman has a HR problem (10), and the Twins are seemingly on a HR bender lately. Recipe for success?

Game 2

Tuesday, 9:05 PM CDT

Tyler Duffey vs Eric Surkamp

LHP Surkamp was inserted into the rotation due to injury or performance, perhaps both. In 5 starts it hasn't been pretty: 0-3 with a 6.55 ERA in 22 IP.

Game 3

Wednesday, 2:35 PM CDT

Pat Dean (?)  vs Sean Manaea

Dean has been great for the Twins. In two starts he's pitched 13 innings, allowing just 7 hits, 3 walks, 4 runs and striking out 13.